Artistic feat captures journey on foot
October 22, 2008
There was more than hedonism to Kyle Schwartz’s three-year dream of backcountry snowboarding in places inaccessible by snowmobiles. Everyone who watches the resulting movie can share his winter-long adventure.
Schwartz and Chris Edmonds filmed “On My Own Two Feet” last winter in the Sierra Nevada. The project, which lasted from November to May, featured hard-to-get-to and secret spots from Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney.
A part-time Lake Tahoe Community College student, Schwartz is one of three photographers who will present their editorial and advertising artwork and discuss their philosophies, “Emerging Careers in Photography and Digital Arts,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, in the Duke Theater. The presentation also will feature former LTCC students Chris Wellhausen and Ian Ruhter.
“I want to have this as a recurring event with people who have gone to LTCC and are doing really well,” said host and organizer Tim Peare.
Peare has been a full-time snowboard photographer for four years. The premiere of his event last year packed the Duke.
“On My Own Two Feet” will be sandwiched between presentations by the photographers.
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Ruhter is the senior photographer for Transworld Snowboarding and is a staff photographer for Forum Snowboards. Wellhausen, a former Tahoe Daily Tribune photographer, is a photo associate for Transworld.
“Ian will discuss how he manages to keep the integrity of art in a commercial application and how that works with a group … with 20 assistants,” Peare said. “Chris is going to talk about the same type of deal except in an editorial environment.
Schwartz said he knew that working on the movie was a good idea two hours into his first ascent. He said a typical five-day camping excursion would cost him only about $40 to $50.
“A lot of the of trips big-mountain riders and veteran professionals mixed with 19-year-old, up-and-coming riders,” Schwartz said.
He said perhaps the most memorable shoots occurred at Mammoth with snowboard pioneer Tom Burt. While trying to get to a mountain, the group had dropped down to an unknown area.
“There was a 2,000-foot drop, and we couldn’t tell if it was safe or not,” he said. “Just as we were turning around to basically abort the mission, Tom rolls in.”
Someone asked Burt if it was a good idea to make the ride down. He replied, “I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” persuading the crew to ride rather than hike.
“He save our asses,” Schwartz said. “It was awesome.”